You’ve already learned why progressive overload matters for muscle growth.
But here’s the thing:
Progressive overload isn’t only about lifting heavier and heavier each time you hit the gym.
It doesn’t only refer to load (although load is king at the end of the day).
Progressive overload means that you are giving your body sufficient stimulus to drive adaptations. And adaptation means that your body is changing in a positive way (more muscle mass, less body fat) and you are becoming stronger over time.
At the end of the day our goal is to increase your work capacity in order to grow muscles:
Work = Force * Distance
You can do that by either increasing the Force or by increasing the Distance. Make sense?
So here’s how you can do each of them in your next training session:
1. Distance ↑ Increase how many reps you can do with a given weight OR
2. Force ↑ Increase how much weight you can lift for a number of reps.
If either one or the other is possible you are making progress!
There are exercises where we want to add weight to the bar each week. Think about the big lifts like deadlifts, bench presses, squats, or machine work like the leg press. The goal here is to increase the load each week if possible.
On the other side, there are exercises, especially for small muscle groups like lateral raises, biceps curls, and triceps extension, where it’s hard to add 1kg to the bar each session. This is where you want to add repetitions in order to progress.
Love & Strength
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